10+ gadgets and tools for graphic designers

Everyone needs a tool for their own crafts. Chefs need a nicely-crafted knife for all their slicing sessions. Laundry women need the good fabric conditioners. Hairdressers need a good kit of scissors. But for graphic designers, is a PC or Mac enough?

Obviously, the answer would be no, no matter how fast and reliable the internet connection is. Of course, the first thing that each and every graphic designer should have is a PC, and there’s no doubt that it cannot be replaced.

However, outside the main engine, what else can designers use to aid and inspire them to do more in less than the usual time and sweat?

How about you check these cool gadgets and tools for designers?

1. Apple iPad


The cyber ecosystem won’t be complete—at least practically—without the concept of Apple’s products hanging around. The iPad of Apple is a great example here: though this does not directly aid you in the design process, a Retina display with the right screen size should be more than enough to inspire you to create designs that are pixel-perfect and resolution-efficient.

2. Bamboo Stylus Duo


Being a designer—a real one, you are not expected really to sit in front of your computer the whole day; sometimes you need to stand up and do a little thought-gathering with a pen and a notepad. The Bamboo Stylus Duo is a combination of a stylus that you can use on any touch-enabled device, and a enterprise-class pen that makes you jot down notes quickly without an electronic display.

3. Wacom Intuos Pro


This is just famous enough to be tackled again as a story, but I always loved the Intuos series especially this Pro version. With the power of accuracy, multi-touch gestures, and a workflow-optimized workspace, this tablet is something that illustrators and even plain graphic artists would love to wish every Christmas. If you want to get a little more advanced, get the wireless version and enjoy a hassle-free experience.

4. Bamboo Pad


Another product of the reputed company, this gadget is actually just a touchpad that supports multi-gestures as expected, but you can also use a pressure-sensitive stylus with it for extra creativity and fine-tune artistry. Available in both USB and wireless versions, this pad is a great addition to your best desktop PC setup.

5. iDisplay


Got a Mac and an iPad? This downloadable app for both devices will make your workflow easier as you enjoy your iPad as another monitor. Put all your swatches and layers panel on the iPad’s Retina display, and the rest of the workflow dances with the bigger Mac display. In short, no need for extra budget for another screen.

6. Wacom Cintiq 24HD


Wanted to work straight on the screen without extra gadgets? The Cintiq 24Hd is a 24-inch gigantic tablet that lets you work straight on the screen using a Bamboo stylus. You can lay this cross-platform computer flat on your desk, and enjoy some other features like quick-access buttons and so on. This can be expensive, but if you got one, you can really do more.

7. Inkscape


Wanted to use the Illustrator of Adobe but got no funds? Start out doing vector outworks with this old but very effective app for your PC! Not only is this free to use, but its features are also updated as always, and is constantly supported even by top illustrators and designers.

8. Buffalo DriveStation DDR


Having a DDR in the name means that this external hard drive is something with a promise of exceptional speed—equally and even faster than Apple’s respected Thunderbolt. This 3TB-1-disk external hard drive comes with a separate power connector, but connects via USB 3.0. Inside is also a 1GB of RAM to improve caching, and what you get is a very reliable storage hardware with a blazing fast performance. Best for graphic designers, photographers, and even movie collectors.

9. Nikon D5300


Just recently released is the digital SLR for enthusiasts and graphic designers in the name of D5300. Claimed to be the company’s first WiFi-enabled enthusiast-level DSLR, this camera is terrific in speed and performance while allowing you to take incredible photos without the hassle and the huge price. With the help of WiFi, you can get stock-photo-quality images directly transferred to your PC for each and every shot.

10. Epson Artisan 1430


If you are looking for a printer that’s right for your graphic design and production needs, this office-level printer is what I firmly suggest. Supporting up to a paper size of 13x19inches, and with wireless networking, this printer is an advanced candidate for professionals. If you want a lab-quality output that renders your design faithfully without paying much price, this printer is something that you should not miss.

11. Epson Expression 11000XL – Photo Scanner


If you handle photos and even posters down to your Photoshop, this scanner is something that should ease you up with all your scanning needs. This is just a scanner though, but what you get as output are all life-like from colors to contrast. No need for post-editing for reproductions. If you want to enjoy a 2400-dpi scanning power, this Epson model is right for you.

12. Optimus Popularis Keyboard


If you love typography, this keyboard might either intimidate or interest you. This keyboard is expensive, but you get a keyboard with jelly-like crystal keys, each with its own display. The purpose of the display is to render what is currently being represented: a music note, a cyrillic alphabet, an Asian character, or even a face!

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